Earth Dynamics Observatory at the University of Arizona

Earth System Remote Sensing/Earth Dynamics Observatory University of Arizona Cluster Hire Announcement

The University of Arizona announces coordinated hiring of five tenure-track or tenured faculty positions in Earth system remote sensing to establish the Earth Dynamics Observatory (EDO) to respond to global challenges in Earth and environmental science, planetary science, and hazards and resource assessment.

EDO will combine unique mission operations and planetary science capabilities of the internationally recognized Lunar and Planetary Lab with remote sensing research in leading natural science programs including Geosciences, Hydrology and Atmospheric Sciences, the School of Natural and Resources and the Environment, and the Institute of the Environment, with instrument development and calibration through UA’s renowned Colleges of Science, Optical Sciences, and Engineering. EDO faculty will contribute to interdisciplinary research and educational programs oriented around remote sensing and Earth and planetary change, with the goal of developing instruments, deploying missions, and leading new research in applications of remote sensing.

We welcome applications for the first five EDO positions focused in five areas. For all positions, scientists may seek appointments in one or several Departments and Colleges within the University, depending on the research areas and interests of the scientist and the promotion of mission- and science-oriented objectives of EDO.

Appointees will be expected to contribute to innovative and quality teaching, advising, and mentoring at the graduate and undergraduate level, provide opportunities for student engagement in research, internship, externship, and professional training, participate in service and outreach, and promote the UA’s goals for broad representation among its students and workforce. EDO is seeking individuals who promote diversity in research, education, and outreach, and who have experience with a variety of collaborative, teaching, and curricular perspectives.

At the University of Arizona, we value our inclusive climate because we know that diversity in experiences and perspectives is vital to advancing innovation, critical thinking, solving complex problems, and creating an inclusive academic community. We translate these values into action by seeking individuals who have experience and expertise working with diverse students, colleagues and constituencies. Because we seek a workforce with diverse perspectives and experiences, we encourage minorities, women, veterans, and individuals with disabilities to apply. As an Employer of National Service, we also welcome alumni of AmeriCorps, Peace Corps, and other national service programs.

Instrument/Mission Leadership:We seek a scientist with experience in instrument and/or mission development and leadership in Earth remote sensing to coordinate large-scale collaborative projects across a variety of platforms (airborne, UAV, satellite), methods (multi/hyperspectral, radar, laser, gravity, etc.), and applications (e.g., atmospheric composition/properties, Earth surface, land cover, sea-surface, cryosphere, groundwater, etc.). The position is open-rank. In addition to promoting interdisciplinary collaboration across campus and with federal, regional, and industry partners, the scientist will also contribute to training students and researchers in remote sensing, and serve remote-sensing related needs of regional resource stakeholders. Inquiries should be directed to Jonathan Overpeck, Candidates should apply for position number F20158.

Remote Sensing Land-Water-Climate/Geospatial Analysis: We seek a scientist with expertise in remote sensing, modeling, and data analysis to address challenges in land surface, water cycle, resource, and hazards assessment using active and passive source methods, multi- and hyperspectral data, LiDAR, and other technologies. Experience with advancedspatial-temporal modeling and geospatial analysis related to environmental change and water in arid environments is expected. The scientist will engage researchers and students in interdisciplinary research and student training across Earth and environmental programs and curricula, and lead and collaborate on federal, industry, and public projects. Inquiries should be directed to Stuart Marsh, Candidates should apply for position number F20163.

Atmospheric remote sensing: Observing systems, encompassing a wide range of platforms from ground-based to satellites and measurement instruments from radar to chemical sensors, are key in our ability to understand, predict, assess, and mitigate changes in the Earth system. We seek a scientist with expertise in atmospheric remote sensing especially in the following areas: (1) passive and active remote sensing of the atmosphere (e.g., precipitation, clouds, water vapor, aerosols, and trace gases); (2) development and application of remote sensing retrieval algorithms and methods; (3) algorithm development and application of dual-polarization Doppler radar measurements; and (4) data assimilation. Inquiries should be directed to Xubin Zeng, Candidates should apply for position number F20162.

Comparative planetology: We seek a scientist in the field of remote sensing of planetary surfaces, atmospheres, and/or interiors with relevance to multiple planets (including exoplanets) or solar system objects and to astrobiology, to provide context for understanding the Earth. Experience in field and lab work and theory are also desirable. The scientist will have expertise in planetary science and observing techniques to a) develop instrumentation and techniques and lead experiments for planetary science (including Earth), and b) provide perspective on the implications for Earth of knowledge about other planets and vice versa. Inquiries should be directed to Tim Swindle, Candidates should apply for position number F20164.

Satellite Geodesy: We seek a scientist using modern space geodetic techniques to understand Earth properties across a range of geophysical, hazards, and resource applications. Examples include study of Earths gravity field, GPS, InSAR, and LiDAR imaging, radar altimetry, and other methods to probe Earths surface and interior to understand earthquakes, volcanoes, tsunamis, plate tectonics, mantle flow, glacier dynamics, sea level, and/or Earths rotational dynamics. This scientist will develop collaborative explorations into interconnected solid and fluid Earth systems for basic science, increase our ability to monitor Earth changes for resources and hazards assessment, strengthen our ability to compete for funding from external agencies and industry, and help define scientific objectives of future missions. Inquiries should be directed to Rick Bennett, Candidates should apply for position number F20165.

Candidates can apply for all positions at, using the specific position numbers listed above.

Review of applications will begin 9 November 2015, and positions will remain open until filled.

Above: Photos of the Santa Catalina Mountains on Tucson’s northern edge (and links to photo sources). Left: Cathedral Pk from Sabino Canyon. Middle: Snow above Bear Canyon. Right the Santa Catalinas, from

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Earth Dynamics Observatory at the University of Arizona

Swimming Beaches in Kentucky | USA Today

In addition to swimming, many Kentucky lakes feature largemouth bass fishing. (Photo: Tom Brakefield/Stockbyte/Getty Images )

While the landlocked state of Kentucky doesn’t have an ocean or gulf coast beaches, it has many lakes. Kentucky’s park system operates eight state parks that feature public beaches where swimming is allowed. Many of these parks also feature recreational pools and camping facilities. Resort-style parks offer additional lodging, dining and recreation activities, giving families plenty to do after leaving the beach.

Barren River Lake State Resort Park (, located near the south-central Kentucky town of Lucas, features a public lake-front beach. The sandy shores offer many opportunities for swimming, sunbathing and building sand castles. Also at Barren River Lake, guests will find a large marina and boat dock and plenty of fishing, as the lake features largemouth bass, striped bass, bluegill, channel catfish, crappie and rough fish. Make your stay on the shore of Barren River Lake an overnight stay by pitching a tent in the park’s 99-site seasonal campground, renting an on-site cottage or booking a room in the park’s lodge. After a day of swimming, grab a bite to eat in the Driftwood Restaurant, specializing in fresh-caught fish dishes and burgers.

In Eastern Kentucky, swimmers and sunbathers flock to the Buckthorn Lake State Park ( beach from Memorial Day to Labor Day. Guests wishing to take a dip in the lake may make use of the lakeside bathhouse, changing rooms and shower areas. Other recreation opportunities include pontoon boat and fishing boat rentals, as well as a guest-use marina open from April through October. For overnight accommodations, Buckhorn Lake features a handful of rental cabins and rooms in the park lodge. Guests staying in the Lodge or renting a cabin also have access to the exclusive park pool, providing a swimming escape when the beach becomes too crowded. Grab breakfast, lunch or dinner from the Bowlington Country Kitchen. The restaurant specializing in homestyle country cooking.

Lake Barkley State Park (, in southern Kentucky, sits along the eastern shore of Lake Barkley, Kentucky’s largest man-made lake. From Memorial Day to Labor Day, guests flock to the public beach for lake swimming and recreation. At this beach, guests have access to a bathhouse for cleaning up and showering after a day of splashing around in the lake. Challenge each other to game of beach volleyball on the available courts. Take a tour of the 52,000 acre lake by renting an available pontoon, fishing or ski boats. Host a fish fry after catching largemouth bass, bluegill, white bass and Kentucky bass. Extend a day-trip into a family vacation by booking a room in the Lake Barkley Lodge or renting a cabin. The park also features a campsite welcoming both RV and tent camping.

The Rough River Dam State Park ( sits along the shores of a 5,000-acre lake, in western Kentucky. During the summer vacation season, the park staff opens up the public Rough River Dam beach for swimming. Guests to the beach may use the public bathhouse for changing. Despite its moniker, Rough River is an ideal beach for family swimming, as the water remains fairly gentle. Winds blow in gentle waves. After swimming head to the Grayson Landing Restaurant, open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The restaurant specializes in local Kentucky dishes such as ham and catfish. Extend your stay at Rough River by booking a stay in the lodge or renting a lakeside cottage. From mid-March through November, guests may also bring an RV and camp in the 74-site campground. Cottage and lodge guests also have access to the swimming pool, which overlooks the beach.

Pennyrile Forest State Park ( offers a public beach for swimming in the western Kentucky town of Dawson Springs. The public beach sits on the shores of the Pennyrile Lake, offers swimming in gentle waters, featuring small waves. The sandy beach sits adjacent to the lake’s boat dock, which offers paddle boats, row boats, canoes and trolling motor boats. Enjoy some lake fishing, catching bluegill, channel catfish, crappie and largemouth bass. At Pennyroyal, like other Kentucky state parks, guests may rent rooms in the lodge or rental cottages. Lodge and cottage guests also have access to the park’s swimming pool. A full service campground features addition accommodations with 68 sites. Enjoy a meal at the Clifty Creek Restaurant when swimming makes the family work up an appetite. The restaurant features country, Kentucky favorites such as catfish, fried chicken and baby back ribs.

Carr Creek State Park sits in the mountains of Eastern Kentucky, offering a marsh eco-system fairly unique to the area. Guests may enjoy this alpine Kentucky marsh park, which features a number of recreational activities. In the summer, guests flock to the sandy beach, which is the longest of any in the Kentucky state park system. Fishing opportunities abound at Carr Creek with bass, crappie and walleye being the most commonly caught fish. Guests interested in exploring more of the 750-acre lake may rent pontoon or fishing boats at the nearby marina. Take advantage of this park’s rustic setting by camping in the 39-site campground. This beach has no no bathhouses or restaurants.

In central Kentucky, Green River State Park provides an excellent opportunity for beach side camping and lake swimming. On the shores of a 8,200 lake, guests will find public beach access in front of the Green River park’s campground. Open seasonally, the park’s beach features a volleyball sand court, which commonly hosts pick-up games throughout the summer. Guests will find gentle waves along the beach and calm waters for swimming. Bring along the family boat for bass, crappie, bluegill and muskie. From March through November, camp along the shores, with 157 sites. The campground features a grocery store, shower room, bathhouses and guest laundry.

Lake Malone State Park, in western Kentucky, offers guests access to a 788-acre lake. From Memorial Day to Labor Day, Lake Malone features public beach access. Ideal for swimming and playing, the beach features several amenities to help guests enjoy their stay. During the summer season, Lake Malone offers a bathhouse with showers and vending machines. Plan a family camping trip and bring along a fishing boat. Lake Malone offers a public boat ramp and the lake features channel catfish, largemouth bass, crappie, bluegill and redear sunfish. Camp accommodations include 30 sites for tent camping and 25 RV hookups. Laundry, showers and restrooms are also available for campers.

A freelance writer for various online publications, Erin Maurer covers travel destinations, gardening and home decorating projects. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in communication studies from Widener University in Chester, Pa.

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Swimming Beaches in Kentucky | USA Today

My Top 10 Beaches in Southeast Asia | annzventures

April has been a very busy month of travel for me. This was the first month this year that I traveled to four different countries in a matter of 20 days. In Europe its almost that time of the year again- summer. After my three month stay ended in Madrid, I went to London, a city that surprise me so I decided to stay here longer than my original plan of 10 days. Not exactly my top choice for a relaxing vacation but Im happy to stay put here at the moment before heading back home to New York for the summer. But on the other side of the world, in my home country, its already summer. Its been almost a year since I was in Southeast Asia and I am quite missing the beautiful beaches.

Im not a beach person but I spent an incredible amount of time in different islands during my first year of travel. In my short time here on earth, I was fortunate enough to have seen and experienced some of the most beautiful beaches of Mexico, the Caribbean, Bermuda and Southeast Asia including Sri Lanka. So far, I can say that the most beautiful ones are in Southeast Asia. Am I biased? Maybe. But Ill let my photos speak for themselves.

In here I list down my top 10 favorite beaches in Southeast Asia to inspire you to book that plane ticket to whichever summer destination you have in mind or maybe still thinking of going to this summer:

10. Sihanoukville, Cambodia

Cambodia was the second country I traveled solo. So I wasnt a very experienced solo traveler at that time and I was still a bit in shock with what I was doing. Going to Cambodia after a few days in Bangkok wasnt really the most ideal since most travelers would do Chiang Mai instead. After my time in Siem Reap and Phnom Penh, I found myself in this beach in Southern Cambodia and enjoyed a few days relaxing on the beach.

Sihanoukville is a party island. So if you intend to go to a beach with lots of party every night, go to Sihanoukville. Since I was tired with my travels, I found myself reading and writing instead. What I love about this beach is that you can do either or both. Thats why it made it to my list.

My Tip: Wake up one morning and watch the sunrise. Its one of the most beautiful sunrises youll ever watch.

9. Ko Tao, Thailand

Ko Tao is a small island in Thailand that is the most ideal place for divers and snorkelers. However, its also a nice island to just relax and have fun with friends. This island has tons of big beautiful rocks that makes its uniqueness much more appealing. I wrote about my experience and recommendations here.

My Tip: These huts on the western side of the island has really nice views, but for cheaper accommodations, go to the south and sit back and watch the most breathtaking pinkish to red sunsets youll ever see.

8. Ko Phangan, Thailand

Ko Phangan is the island popular for its infamous full moon party, but its more to it than that. This island is a home of picture perfect and very calm beaches. I was traveling in this island with four of my friends and its such an ideal place to just relax, eat and have fun with them. We also went to the full moon party but Im not a fan of it so I never wrote about it.

My tip: Rent a motorbike and go to the north. When you get there, you might never want to leave. The water is very refreshing and perfect temperature especially on very hot and humid days.

7. Kuta Lombok, Indonesia

Lombok is an island that everyone traveling to Indonesia should visit. Bali and Lombok are two different islands and Lombok is the island thats also a great surfing spot minus all the tourists in Bali.

I was traveling in Lombok with six other solo travelers that we decided to explore the hidden beaches together. We had such an amazing time despite the rocky and hard roads to get there.

My tip: Lombok is the island made for adventurers. Rent a motorbike to explore these hidden beaches. This island is not as developed as Bali but also not as touristy. Nonetheless, Lombok has incredible beaches for surfers and adventurers.

6. Bali, Indonesia

Ive been to Bali twice. First before the Eat, Pray, Love sensation and the second during my long-term trip. It was quite a big difference ever since the book became popular. Luckily for me, Ive seen Bali before it was even big with solo travelers. It has become too crowded and overpriced. What didnt change though are the beautiful beaches.

Theres a hidden beach between the road that connects Nusa Dua and Uluwatu. The local said its a secret beach which has no name. If you can find it its not touristy and so beautiful. I really loved it there!

My tip: To avoid crowds try to find the hidden beaches close to Nusa Dua or be adventurous and explore Eastern Balis Tirtagangga and Amed. Its not easy to get there on public transportation so I recommend hiring a driver with a car. Amed also has quite beautiful and reasonably priced villas.

**Extra tip: Balinese spa and massage = heaven. If you can splurge, the best spa treatment that I ever had is the one is at Four Seasons Jimbaran Bay. Luckily, I was on a working holiday when I was there and the hotel gave me a complimentary spa treatment. The resort is also my favorite among all the hotels I ever stayed at.

5. Camiguin, Philippines

Camiguin is a very stunning island in Southern Philippines. I was here only for a few days but left me with beautiful memories. I traveled solo here and since its not touristy at all, I only met a few travelers who were not surprisingly, also from Manila. I wrote about my experience in this tiny island of seven volcanoes here.

My Tip: Instead of taking the boat from Cagayan de Oro, take a journey to the quaint town of Jagna, Bohol and take the ferry from there. Take note of the journeys since they only operate a few days a week. Also, this is in Mindanao and its possible that your travel insurance might not cover you here.

4. Menjangan Island, Bali Indonesia

I tell everyone I know whos traveling or planning to travel to Bali to go to Menjangan island. This island is on the northwestern side of Bali and is a lot closer to Java. From the beach you can even see the volcanoes of Java. But what makes this simple island so beautiful is its spectacular underwater.

This is just a sample of the fishes I saw while snorkeling in Menjangan. For underwater adventures this is my absolute top pick. Theres only a certain time that you can stay in this island since its a protected island. The pictures that I have dont even do justice to the beauty of its colorful underwater. I love this island so much that I did snorkeling here twice in two separate occasions during my travels.

My tip: Menjangan can be easily reached from Lovina which is around 4 hours drive from southern Bali. Its about an hour drive from Lovina and 30 minute boat ride from the pier. I recommend staying in Lovina to access this island. It really is worth the travel and I cannot recommend it enough.

3. Coron, Palawan, Philippines

Whenever someone asks me for advice on where to go in the Philippines my automatic answer is Palawan. Palawan for me is the most beautiful place in my home country. You can skip tourist destinations but not Palawan. Its my most favorite place in the Philippines.

I could not believe that I saw the beaches of Mexico and the Caribbean before I even saw my home countrys beaches. I was stunned with how beautiful the beaches of Coron are. Its quite an enchanting place.

My tip: Banana Island, the most beautiful island in Coron is one hour away by boat. To save money, find other people to split the boat with. For more tips, see my Coron post.

2. Gili Trawangan, Indonesia

Ahhh, the Gili Islands. Just thinking and writing about it makes me want to jump in a plane right now and go back. If theres one place in South East Asia that I would go back to again and again for adventure travel its Indonesia. Among the islands Ive been to in Indonesia, Gili Trawangan is my absolute favorite in terms of island life and parties. Its very easy to get stuck in this place. Its too beautiful, great food and so fun. I almost didnt go to Lombok.

This is a small island which can be toured around by foot for less than three hours. There are no transportation available here and running water is not as good as it is in Bali or Lombok. Also, very few places have wifi or internet connection. If you are the type of person who likes being disconnected this place will suit you so well.

This island is also an excellent place for snorkeling and diving. Though the underwater is not as beautiful as Menjangan, this is the only place you can see and swim with giant sea turtles.

My tip: Watch the sun set from the western part of the island. The sunset with the mountains of Bali on the background makes it such a spectacular view for anyone whos watching.

1. Ko Lipe Thailand

If there is paradise on earth, its Ko Lipe. Whenever Im asked among which islands in Thailand is the best for relaxing its Ko Lipe. If you want to experience real island living, this is the place to go. There are no banks, wifi and cars and everything is within walking distance. Its really a place to be enjoyed.

On a very sunny day, youd see how clear the water is. I havent met a lot of people who have been to this island. One should definitely consider. Its truly Thailands best kept secret.

My tip: There is a small island on the south of Ko Lipe called Ko Hin Ngam. Whats special about this place is that instead of sand, the island is made of shiny dark stones. Its very popular with the locals and most Thais come to the island to stack rocks and make a wish. Hire a long-tail boat to get here and see this natural wonder yourself.

There you have it, my 10 favorite beaches.

Are you heading to any of these beaches this summer?

Enjoy your summer and as always happy travels,


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My Top 10 Beaches in Southeast Asia | annzventures

UCLA Human Genetics

The Department of Human Genetics is the youngest basic science department in the Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. When the Department was launched just prior to the sequencing of the human genome, it was clear that the practice of genetics research would be forever changed by the infusion of massive amounts of new data. Organizing and making sense of this genomic data is one of the greatest scientific challenges ever faced by mankind. The knowledge generated will ultimately transform medicine through patient-specific treatments and prevention strategies.

The Department is dedicated to turning the mountains of raw genetic data into a detailed understanding of the molecular pathogenesis of human disease. The key to such understanding is the realization that genes not only code for specific proteins, but they also control the temporal development and maturation of every living organism through a complex web of interactions.

Housed in the new Gonda Research Center, the Department serves as a focal point for genetics research on the UCLA campus, with state of the art facilities for gene expression, sequencing, genotyping, and bioinformatics. In addition to its research mission, the Department offers many exciting training opportunities for graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and medical residents. Our faculty and staff welcome inquiries from prospective students. We also hope that a quick look at our web pages will give you a better idea of the Department’s research and educational activities.

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UCLA Human Genetics

The science is in: God is the answer

Eighteen years ago, Lisa Miller, now the director of clinical psychology at Columbia Universitys Teachers College, had an epiphany on a New York subway car. She had been poring over the mountains of data generated by a three-generation study of depressed women and their children and grandchildren. The biological trend was clear: Women with severeand particularly with recurrentdepression had daughters at equally high risk for the psychological disorder. At puberty, the risk was two to three times greater than for other girls. But the data seemed to show that the onset and, even more so, the incidence of recurring bouts with depression, varied widely.

Miller couldnt discern why. Raised in a close-knit Midwestern Jewish community, she had already looked for what she says psychologists rarely bothered to seekreligious belief and practiceand found some mild benefit for both mothers and children, but nothing that stood out among the other variants, such as socio-economic status. Then came the subway ride.

There I was, on a Sundayquite invested in this question, wasnt I, going up to the lab on a Sunday, recalls Miller in an interview. She was in a subway car crowded at one end and almost empty at the other, because that end was occupied by a dirty, dishevelled man brandishing a piece of chicken at everyone who boarded while yelling, Hey, do you want to sit with me? You want some of this chicken? The awkward scene continued for a few stops until an older woman and a girl of about eightgrandmother and granddaughter, Miller guessedgot on. The man bellowed his questions, and the pair nodded at one another and said, Thank you, in unison, and sat beside him. It astonished everyone in the car, including Miller and the man with the chicken, who grew quieter and more relaxed.

The childs evident character traitscompassion, acceptance, fearlessnessat so young an age prompted Millers eureka moment. What struck her was the nod and all it implied: It was clear as day that the grandchild fully understood how one lives out spiritual values in her family. Twenty minutes later, Miller was in her lab, running equations on the data that were, in effect, a search for the statistical nod. She was looking for mother-teen pairs who had reported a shared religion or non-religious spirituality. She calls the results the most amazing science I had ever seen. In the pairs Miller found in the data, shared spirituality (religious or otherwise)if it reached back to the childs formative yearswas 80 per cent protective in families that were otherwise at very high risk for depression.

It was the start of a long and sometimes rocky road for both Miller and the place of spiritualityhowever definedin mainstream psychological thinking. She remembers doors literally slammed in her face and people walking out of talks I was giving. But Miller and other researchers, including so-called spiritual neuroscientists like Montreals Mario Beauregard and the much-cited American psychologist Kenneth Kendler continued to explore the intersection of religiosity and mental health in studies published in major, peer-reviewed science journals. By the end of it, as Miller sets out in a provocative new book, The Spiritual Child, out later this spring, she was convinced not only of spiritualitys health benefits for people in general, but of its particular importance for young people during a stage of human development when we are most vulnerable to impulsive, risky or damaging behaviours.

Related: Inside your teenagers scary brain

In fact, Miller declares, spirituality, if properly fostered in childrens formative years, will pay off in spades in adolescence. An intensely felt, transcendental sense of a relationship with God, the universe, nature or whatever the individual identifies as his or her higher power, she found, is more protective than any other factor against the big three adolescent dangers. Spiritually connected teens are, remarkably, 60 per cent less likely to suffer from depression than adolescents who are not spiritually oriented. tweet this Theyre 40 per cent less likely to abuse alcohol or other substances, and 80 per cent less likely to engage in unprotected sex. Spiritually oriented children, raised to not shy from hard questions or difficult situations, Miller points out, also tend to excel academically.

And teenagers can use all the help they can get. Recent research has revealed their neurological development to be as rapid and overwhelming as their bodily change. The adolescent brain is simultaneously gaining in intellectual power and losing in emotional control; its neural connectionsits basic wiringis a work in progress, with connections between impulse and second (or even first) thought slower than in adults. There is a surge in unfamiliar hormones and, as it turns out, a surge in spiritual longing.

Related:Why teens are getting upset over One Directionand why thats a good thing

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The science is in: God is the answer

High Surf, Powerful Rip Currents At San Diego County Beaches Friday, Saturday

Enlarge this image

Photo by Jessica Plautz

Above: Bystanders gathered along the beach in Del Mar to watch the huge waves on January 14, 2010.

People who flock to San Diego County beaches this weekend to beat the heat will also have to cope with high surf and powerful rip currents, meteorologists said Thursday.

“A long-period south swell will move into the coastal waters early Friday and will continue through Saturday,” according to the National Weather Service. “South-facing beaches will get the highest surf, but all beaches will get some strong rip currents and longshore currents through the weekend.”

The agency said waves this weekend are likely to reach 3 to 5 feet with occasional 6-foot sets.

Warmer than usual temperatures could spell larger than normal crowds at local beaches.

“High temperatures in the upper 80s to mid-90s are likely west of the mountains today and Friday,” the weather service said, adding the coast will see mostly low to mid-80s.

A slow cooling trend is expected to begin on Sunday.

RELATED: San Diegans Get Ready For Another Heat Wave


High Surf, Powerful Rip Currents At San Diego County Beaches Friday, Saturday

Heres why Liberty University has become a pilgrimage site for GOP candidates

The marriage of conservative religion and politics at Liberty University has always been transparent. When Religious Right icon Jerry Falwell founded the school in 1971, its statement of purposecalled for commitment to a Christian worldview that includes Creationism, political conservatism and a firm support for Americas economic system of free enterprise.

The clarity worked. Since Ronald Reagan, Republican leaders have been making the pilgrimage to the mountains of central Virginia to speak at Liberty, which boomed under Falwell and his ability to draw evangelicals out of their churches and into public and political life.

But the cachet of appearing at Liberty has grown even more in the past decade as the school has exploded in size, financial resources and in its presence in places like Capitol Hill, where its alumni are now a familiar sight. Almost every single GOP presidential contender in recent years has spoken at Liberty, usually at its massive thrice-weekly chapel, which is held in a 12,000-seat sports arena and also watched by thousands of its 95,000 on-line students. It is the worlds largest Christian university with nearly 110,000 students.

But Ted Cruzs announcement Monday was the first time a candidate has actually unveiled their run for president at Liberty, solidifying it further as the symbolic hub of conservative Christianity.

Liberty has become to the academy what Fox News is to the media, said Johnnie Moore, an author, pastor and a former senior vice president at Liberty, where he was responsible for organizing the chapel sessions, called convocations. Appearances by more centrist GOP candidates John McCain (in 2006) and Mitt Romney (in 2012) helped establish its place, he said. No one was talking anymore about whether Liberty was the heart of conservatism. It became an institution that, whether you liked it or not, everyone in America has to pay attention to.

Liberty exemplifies in some ways the journey of conservative evangelicals in public life.

Just in the last decade it has created a law school, a medical school, an engineering school and has gone from $30 million in debt when Falwell died in 2007 to having $1.2 billion in cash reserves, buoyed by its on-line students. Libertys convocation is a must-stop not only for candidates but is also popular with well-known athletes, actors, political movers and shakers and megapastors who typically speak about religions essential role in public life. At a time when its common to hear about the death of the Religious Right, Libertysdaily existence pushes back, an argument for the success and relevance of conservative evangelical Christianity.

Yet some feel evangelical political power is still a work in progress. While half of GOP primary voters are evangelical, according to states with exit polls, the candidate they pick hasnt been selected as the nominee since George W. Bush, and no leader since Falwell has been able to assemble coalitions of such impact. Evangelicals are also somewhat more divided on some of the core issues that united them in Falwells day including issues of human sexuality and church-state relations.

To a group of Americans who wonder if their way of life is sustainable, Liberty is a promise that evangelicals can still thrive in the United States. Everywhere else you see churches with empty pews or Christian organizations that are bankrupt, said Liberty graduate Jonathan Merritt, son of a pastpresident of the Southern Baptist Convention and author of a book criticizing aspects of conservative evangelical culture. Liberty embodies a hope that a lot of conservative evangelicals need right now.

Merritt believes that part of the appeal of Liberty for a candidate looking to announce themselves to religious conservatives is that there arent other obvious options.

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Heres why Liberty University has become a pilgrimage site for GOP candidates

From Rockies to Beaches, There's No Escape From Winter

A fragmented winter storm system was forecast to bring snow to both the Rocky Mountains and beaches in the Carolinas on Tuesday, forecasters said. While the deadly system was not as strong as Monday when it canceled 1,000 flights, closed hundreds of schools, and caused chaos on the roads meteorologists predicted a messy commute linked to snow, ice and rain in parts of Georgia, Tennessee and the Carolinas.

A thin band of snow looked likely to dump up to one inch on the beaches of North Carolina, the Outer Banks, and possibly as far south as Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, according to Kevin Roth, lead meteorologist at The Weather Channel. While Tuesday was not likely to continue Monday’s uninterrupted 2,000-mile band of winter weather from California to the Carolinas, snow was still falling and likely to continue through the day in mountains of New Mexico, southern Colorado and northern Arizona. “Whether you want to go to the mountains or the beach today you could still see snow,” Roth said.

Meanwhile, cold records across the Northeast and Midwest continued to tumble thanks to a bitter blast of Arctic cold still lingering from the weekend. Newark, New Jersey, hit a low of 2F on Tuesday, smashing the previous record set 79 years ago and making it the coldest February 24 since records began.

Other day records fell in Indianapolis, Indiana, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Columbus, Ohio, and Portland, Maine.

Burlington, Vermont, got down as low as -19F at 4 a.m. ET, according to the National Weather Service, pipping the previous record of -18F set in 1914.

Another blast was already brewing north of the Canadian border, Roth added, and was by Thursday likely to plunge much of the eastern two-thirds of the nation into a fresh freeze.

First published February 24 2015, 2:23 AM

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From Rockies to Beaches, There's No Escape From Winter

NASA Space News, International Space Station Shuttle …

Drastic reductions in Arctic sea ice in the last decade may be intensifying the chemical release of bromine into the atmosphere, resulting in ground-level ozone depletion and the deposit of toxic mercury in the Arctic, according to a new NASA-led study.

The connection between changes in the Arctic Ocean’s ice cover and bromine chemical processes is determined by the interaction between the salt in sea ice, frigid temperatures and sunlight. When these mix, the salty ice releases bromine into the air and starts a cascade of chemical reactions called a “bromine explosion.” These reactions rapidly create more molecules of bromine monoxide in the atmosphere. Bromine then reacts with a gaseous form of mercury, turning it into a pollutant that falls to Earth’s surface.

Bromine also can remove ozone from the lowest layer of the atmosphere, the troposphere. Despite ozone’s beneficial role blocking harmful radiation in the stratosphere, ozone is a pollutant in the ground-level troposphere.

A team from the United States, Canada, Germany, and the United Kingdom, led by Son Nghiem of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., produced the study, which has been accepted for publication in the Journal of Geophysical Research- Atmospheres. The team combined data from six NASA, European Space Agency and Canadian Space Agency satellites; field observations and a model of how air moves in the atmosphere to link Arctic sea ice changes to bromine explosions over the Beaufort Sea, extending to the Amundsen Gulf in the Canadian Arctic.

“Shrinking summer sea ice has drawn much attention to exploiting Arctic resources and improving maritime trading routes,” Nghiem said. “But the change in sea ice composition also has impacts on the environment. Changing conditions in the Arctic might increase bromine explosions in the future.”

The study was undertaken to better understand the fundamental nature of bromine explosions, which first were observed in the Canadian Arctic more than two decades ago. The team of scientists wanted to find if the explosions occur in the troposphere or higher in the stratosphere.

Nghiem’s team used the topography of mountain ranges in Alaska and Canada as a “ruler” to measure the altitude at which the explosions took place. In the spring of 2008, satellites detected increased concentrations of bromine, which were associated with a decrease of gaseous mercury and ozone. After the researchers verified the satellite observations with field measurements, they used an atmospheric model to study how the wind transported the bromine plumes across the Arctic.

The model, together with satellite observations, showed the Alaskan Brooks Range and the Canadian Richardson and Mackenzie mountains stopped bromine from moving into Alaska’s interior. Since most of these mountains are lower than 6,560 feet (2,000 meters), the researchers determined the bromine explosion was confined to the lower troposphere.

“If the bromine explosion had been in the stratosphere, 5 miles [8 kilometers] or higher above the ground, the mountains would not have been able to stop it and the bromine would have been transported inland,” Nghiem said.

After the researchers found that bromine explosions occur in the lowest level of the atmosphere, they could relate their origin to sources on the surface. Their model, tracing air rising from the salty ice, tied the bromine releases to recent changes in Arctic sea ice that have led to a much saltier sea ice surface.

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NASA Space News, International Space Station Shuttle …

Limited Insurance Choices Frustrate Patients In California …

Dennie and Kathy Wright sift through a stack of medical bills at their home in Indian Valley, Calif. Pauline Bartolone for NPR hide caption

Dennie and Kathy Wright sift through a stack of medical bills at their home in Indian Valley, Calif.

Dennie Wright lives in Indian Valley, a tiny alpine community at the northern end of the Sierra, close to the border with Nevada.

Wright works as a meat cutter in a grocery store and lives in a modest home overlooking a green pasture. He also lives in one of the 250 ZIP codes where Blue Shield of California stopped selling individual policies in 2014. As his insurance agent explained it, Wright had only one choice of companies if he wanted to buy insurance on Covered California, the state’s health insurance exchange. That lone option was Anthem Blue Cross, so Wright bought one of the Anthem policies.

“That was new to us, you know, Covered California,” Wright says. “Anthem Blue Cross was the insurance carrier. Then of course, three months later, I have a heart attack.”

More than once, he was flown across the state line to Reno for care. Wright and his wife, Kathy, now have piles of medical bills and insurance paperwork. Though Anthem Blue Cross covers emergency care out of state, it doesn’t cover routine doctor care outside a patient’s home state. But Wright says traveling from his home to doctors on the California side of the mountains is not as safe or as convenient as going to Reno.

He continues to see the Nevada doctors who put a defibrillator in his chest and saved his life. Anthem Blue Cross will pay some of the bills, but the Wrights still don’t know if everything will be covered.

There are other insurance options for Wright, but not through Covered California. Although he didn’t need a subsidy, he was left in the same position as people in his area who do need financial help to buy insurance. People with lower incomes can’t readily take their business to a competitor, because the state exchange is the only place customers can use federal subsidies to help them buy health insurance. So for these people who are pinched financially, Anthem is the only option.

“I mean, you should have some choices, especially if you’re going to have one that’s not going to cover you in the places you choose to go,” Wright says.

Last July, Covered California Executive Director Peter Lee offered a different impression of choices the marketplace would offer.

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Limited Insurance Choices Frustrate Patients In California …

Whitsunday, Queensland: Travel guide and things to do

Jan 12 2015 at 1:49 PM

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Today the words Whitsunday and Whitsunday Islands encompass the large ‘town’ of Whitsunday (which includes the mainland settlements ofAirlie Beach, Cannonvale and Shute Harbour) and the Whitsunday Islands which include 74 islands off the Central Queensland coast of which the most important are Daydream Island, Dent Island, Hamilton Island, Hayman Island, Hook Island, Lindeman Island, Long Island, and South Molle.

If there is a perfect holiday destination on the Queensland coast it is probably the Whitsundays. It is here that the delights of the Great Barrier Reef, the warmth of the tropics, a range of activities from bushwalking to scuba diving, and a diversity of lifestyles from backpackers and takeaways to luxury hotels and international a la carte restaurants, all meet in a wonderfully harmonious combination of delights. No wonder that in 1989 the Whitsunday Tourism Association was proudly boasting that ‘the Whitsundays has blossomed into the largest tourism development region in the world with $3 billion being invested here within the next ten years’.

Over the years the Whitsunday Islands (known affectionately as ‘The Whitsundays’) have loomed large in the imagination of Australians. Everyone has heard the names – South Molle, Lindeman, Hamilton, Daydream and Hayman to which can be added Long Island and Hook Island. These islands are synonymous with paradise. The very words conjure up images of lying in the tropical sun, having a really good holiday, perfect green tropical seas, exquisite tropical sunsets, good food and drink.

To try and disentangle the myth from the reality is no easy task. Like the Gold Coast, the Whitsundays have recently become an amalgam of sleepy little villages and holiday resorts. Created in 1987 as a ‘town’ it now combines Airlie Beach, Cannonvale, Jubilee Pocket and Shute Harbour. It is rather amusing, when driving towards Cannonvale and Airlie Beach to come across a sign in the middle of the bush which reads ‘Welcome to the town of Whitsunday’. The sign is surrounded by nothingness. There is barely a sign of human life let alone the sign of a town.

Geologically the Whitsunday Islands are all drowned mountains. Prior to the last Ice Age they were connected to the mainland and would have all been prominent mountains in the area. The melting of the polar caps drowned the valleys between the mountains creating a network of 74 islands of which only 7 have resort facilities. Beyond the resorts the whole area is part of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park and the uninhabited islands are all controlled by National Parks and Wildlife.

It is possible to visit the uninhabited islands by charter boat, private boat of water taxi. However it is necessary to obtain camping permits from the National Parks Office if you are intending to stay the night. Many of the smaller islands have no paths or tracks and exploration is often restricted to walking around the lonely beaches and rocky points. The largest island in the group, Whitsunday, has a walking track which connects Sawmill Bay with Dugong Beach. Sawmill Bay was named after the sawmill which was established on the island at the end of the nineteenth century. For some years there was an active timber industry on the island and it is still possible to see the remains of the sawmill.

The first European to explore the area was Captain James Cook who travelled through the area on his journey up the eastern coast of Australia in 1770. He passed through Whitsunday passage, a narrow channel which lies between the mainland coast, South Molle and Daydream Islands to the west and Dent, Whitsunday, Hook and Hayman Islands to the east, on Sunday 4 June which happened to be Whit Sunday (the seventh Sunday after easter) – hence the name of the area.

Cannonvale The road winds through Cannonvale with its residential area and substantial industrial area. There are houses nestled in the foothills. This is a holiday retreat which is close to the main centre of Airlie Beach but far enough away to be slightly removed from the bustle of tourism. There’s a lot of development but the views over the mangroves is really lovely. Not surprisingly it has become a popular haunt for locals being slightly removed from the high level tourism of Airlie Beach and Shute Harbour.

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Whitsunday, Queensland: Travel guide and things to do

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End Times Dream: Day of The Lord, Mountains Crumble, Islands Moved, Earth Shaken – Video

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Watch out are words we do not want to hear during a volcanic eruption. Decision makers, NASA SERVIR and the Smithsonian Global Volcano Program, want to b…

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Short video from my trip to Thassos Island (Greece). After seeing this place I quickly exchanged the scooter to an ATV to discover all the best places on this island. Music: Kevin MacLeod….

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Thassos Island Greece 1080p Full HD ATV Quad Riding Golden Giola Marble Livadi Beaches & Mountains – Video